InkubasiaLAB is a 5-day Business Model Validation Lab accelerator for early/idea-stage, Kyrgyzstan-based entrepreneurs that are tackling social and environmental problems. It is designed to help these entrepreneurs rapidly identify and validate the foundational assumptions of their business.
Training will be facilitated by a visiting team of Silicon Valley professionals who work at Facebook, Google, Apple, LinkedIn, Salesforce and other startups.
Bishkek is perfect: entrepreneurial and growing fast. For 10 years, Inkubasia has witnessed the development of a vibrant entrepreneurial community in Bishkek. So now we want to directly support ventures based in and impacting Kyrgyzstan and help them tap into this growing ecosystem of support. Plus, beyond supporting ventures, we are partnering with organizations having impact in Kyrgyzstan: we are hosting our Lab at the American University of Central Asia, and we are looking to source food from Bishkek-based food companies conscientious of social and environmental missions.
Get Involved: Apply to be an entrepreneur, volunteer as a mentor, be a sponsor, or help our Lab team find entrepreneurs. Read on to get involved!
The early stages of a startup are marked with questions. Who is my customer? What problems do they have? Do I have a solution to their problems? What are they willing to pay? Will I be able to break even? An entrepreneur’s ability to quickly convert these questions into answers is one of the few characteristics that separates successful startups from failed ones. The problem is that few entrepreneurs know the rapid and systematic approach required to answer these questions. They go too slow, they focus on the wrong things in the wrong order, and they move forward without truly validating a business model.
The Lab & Curriculum
InkubasiaLAB is designed to do one thing: provide entrepreneurs with a step-by-step methodology to rapidly and systematically validate their venture’s business model. Entrepreneurs will:
Identify the foundational assumptions that underpin your venture.
Design and run experiments to validate / invalidate the foundational assumptions (through customer discovery and rapid prototyping)
Meet with mentors to get feedback and develop next steps.
The curriculum of the Lab oscillates between in-classroom workshop time and in-market customer interaction time.
Starts with orientation and workshop on assumption mapping in the morning. The afternoon is spent interacting with target customers.
Starts with a workshop in the morning on how to rapidly prototype. In the afternoon entrepreneurs will physically build a prototype.
Starts with a workshop on how to build powerful, long-term relationships with mentors, funders, and partners. In the afternoon, entrepreneurs spend time validating cost assumptions.
Mentor Day Part 1! 10-15 mentors will attend the Lab to work directly with entrepreneurs. The afternoon is dedicated to strategic planning.
Mentor Day Part 2! Entrepreneurs will meet with even more mentors after their reflection the previous day. The afternoon builds momentum and concludes the Lab.
By the end of Lab entrepreneurs will have something to show for their work. They will have:
- Learned a repeatable methodology for how to do customer discovery
- Built 2-3 prototypes of a key element of their venture
- Tested prototypes with real customers
- Learned how to build and maintain mentor relationships
- Met and received feedback from 12+ world-class mentors
- Conducted a break-even analysis of their business and identified the key cost and financial assumptions of their business
- Built out a basic budget and financial model
- Created a 6-month operating plan
Mentors & Facilitators
This Lab will will be facilitated by a team visiting from Silicon Valley and will involve mentors with diverse skills & experiences and will be custom-selected with the Lab ventures in mind to assure mentors meet their needs.
Interested in volunteering as a mentor? Email our team!
Co-Founder & Director, Inkubasia
Formerly at Amazon.com, loves creative problem solving with teams to build innovative products. Passionate about investing in people, equipping and empowering them to reach their potential. Enjoys reading, running, and kitchen table tennis.
Dean & Assistant Professor at the AUCA’s SEBA
With years of experience in strategy and research in entrepreneurship & technology/innovation consulting, currently is the head of the School of Economics and Business Administration at AUCA.
Senior Product Manager, Green Chef
Silicon Valley entrepreneur who loves building consumer companies. Has received funding from prestigious venture capital firms such as 500 Startups. Experienced with starting companies as well as lead growth for later stage startups.
Formerly a consultant with Accenture, now designs/builds ad solutions for new and emerging products, including YouTube. An Electrical Engineering grad of UCLA, has specialized technical skills and an interest in traveling, tennis, and theater.
Formerly at Microsoft, an experienced innovator, passionate about solving problems, rapid prototyping, and mentoring teams in areas of technology, mobile apps and social media.
Founder, Flying Spoon Creamery
Flying Spoon makes small-batch ice cream for the artisanal ice cream market in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unique flavors, compostable packaging, and on obsession with quality and feedback set us apart.
Director of Products, Petzila
A Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur, experienced in bringing consumer electronic products from conception to launch at an IoT start-up, enjoys collaborative problem solving and loves to tinker.
Co-Owner of Sierra Coffee & Founder of Amaliya Studio
As a seasoned entrepreneur and creative interior designer, has a passion for positively impacting the local economy and a love for developing people.
Manager, R&D Lab Apple
An MIT grad devoted to mentoring future global leaders, gets excited about leading teams to devise practical solutions to impossible problems. Expert in novel assembly process technologies to bring future products to market.
VP Strategic Product Alliances, Salesforce
Passionate entrepreneur with proven leadership and drive. Uncanny ability in recognizing market demands as sales opportunities, transforming ideas into products and delivering quantifiable ROI to customers.
Zhi Yang Wong
A 4th year Stanford Engineering PhD candidate from New Zealand, has specialized knowledge and experience in the energy and education industries and proficient technical skills in object-oriented and web development programming.
Co-founder & CEO of Ideagrad Startup Incubator
With a proven executive management track record and 3+ years in growing technology startups, currently is responsible for overseeing teamwork, strategic development, attracting investors and dealing with portfolio companies at Ideagrad.
Software Engineer, Cask Data
A Stanford grad who loves solving large problems, has worked on distributed computing platforms at a Silicon Valley startup, search engines at Box, and recommendation systems at Yahoo.
Software Engineer, Infrastructure, Facebook
With 1.8+ billion users, an enormous amount of information passes our site. Our team builds & scales systems to support the world’s most popular social network.
As a co-founder of ololo art studio and ololohaus coworking and events space, passionate about startups, innovation, community building and the arts.
FAQ’s & More About This Program
Application and Selection
Applications are closed, but you can keep informed of new programs by signing up for our newsletter here.
- Committed to social and environmental impact with their venture
- Idea-to-early-stage in their venture’s development
- Based in Kyrgyzstan (more on location below
- 18 years of age or older
Here’s a bit more on location:
- If I am an entrepreneur from an adjacent to Kyrgyzstan. Can I apply for this Lab? If you are outside Kyrgyzstan you can still apply. But please know that we will prioritize entrepreneurs from Kyrgyzstan. But if you can make a compelling case, we might consider your application.
- My venture’s headquarters are here in Kyrgyzstan, but my operations are elsewhere? Can I apply? It depends. The Business Model Validation Lab is designed for ventures to interact directly with their target market during the Lab. For example, during the Lab entrepreneurs will go and do “customer discovery” by interviewing people (in-person) in their target market. If you are unable to do this because your venture’s operations are elsewhere, then the Lab will be less valuable to you. In any case, please feel free to reach out us if you have specific questions about this.
- Who their target customer is
- What, exactly, is the problem their target customer has
- What their product/service offering looks like (they haven’t built a prototype yet or have just begun building prototypes) and if it meets the needs of the target customer
Entrepreneurs are too late if:
- They know (with a very high level of confidence and specificity) who their customer is
- They know (with a very high level of confidence and specificity) what problem their customer has
- They know (with a very high level of confidence and specificity) that their solution solves their customer’s problem
- They have a product/service that is in mainstream production
They have substantial sales
The Lab Team will work with any entrepreneur who is accepted to attend the Lab but unable to pay. Do not let the cost prohibit you from applying for the Lab!
The Lab will feature both time in the classroom (learning principles of how to validate your business model) and time in market with your customers where you will be interviewing them and having them interact with your prototypes. There will also be one entire day dedicated to working with mentors. Throughout the course of the Lab, you will have plenty of time to work and rest. Taking time to digest the material is an important piece of acceleration!
Day 1: Day 1 starts with a brief orientation and workshop in the morning, followed by an afternoon interacting with target customers.
Day 2: Day 2 starts with a workshop in the morning on how to rapidly prototype. In the afternoon, entrepreneurs will physically build a prototype and then go out again to meet with target customers.
Day 3: Day 3 starts with a workshop on how to build powerful relationships with mentors, funders, and partners. There will be a workshop in the afternoon on how to validate the cost assumptions in each venture.
Day 4: Day 4 is part 1 of “Mentor Day” when 10-15 mentors will attend the Lab to work directly with entrepreneurs. The rest of the day will be spent working on strategic planning.
Day 5: Day 5 is part 2 of “Mentor Day” followed by a wrap-up session to conclude the Lab.
Be a Supporter
We are looking for seasoned businessmen and women who have a passion to help others build their companies with the desire to ‘give back’ knowing they wouldn’t have been able to achieve what they already have—without the help of others.
Click here to email Nargiza to discuss becoming a mentor.
Pipeline Partners are organizations that help us find the entrepreneurs. Like us, they support entrepreneurs doing good in the world. If you want to become a Pipeline Partner for this Lab, please email us.